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Portugal vs. Mexico Confederations Cup preview – All eyes on Cristiano Ronaldo

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Who will emerge winner in the crucial Portugal vs Mexico match? The Confederation Cup 2017 opening match is going to be played between a sleeping giant and one of the best teams in North America.

Mexico is coming fresh from a very hard fought match against United States national team. The match was very tough for both the teams but many people were surprised that the team US was able to keep it 1-1 till the last. Mexico were favorites to win the match.

There is no denying that Portugal is way better than Mexico on any given day. But Mexico have surprised many people who made such simple calculations in the past. A soccer match is undecided till it is finished with the success or defeat of a team. Even two minutes suffice to turn the table and change calculations.

In the meantime, the Euro 2016 champions are is hoping that a red-hot Cristiano Ronaldo can continue his sparkling form in the Confederation Cup 2017 as well. There is no denying that not many people will find fault with the assumption. With Ronaldo looking at the peak of his game, Portugal trained for the first time in Russia on Thursday ahead of its Confederations Cup debut against Mexico on Sunday.




The man who has taken his team Real Madrid to great heights on the power of his consistent performance is enjoying one of his greatest career runs, having scored 18 goals in his last 11 matches, including two in Real Madrid’s 4-1 win over Juventus in the Champions League final. He also scored important goals in the decisive stages of the Spanish league, a competition Madrid won this season for the first time in five years.

Portugal team is hoping that despite his tax issues, he may still be able to perform well for the team. The Spanish tax authorities have accused him of defrauding 14.7 million euros. This has prompted his to announce that he wants to leave Spain and with the country, also the team. While Real Madrid backed the player in the aftermath of that announcement, this has left his come as a shock to some. As much as his decision is said to be final, there is a hope at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu that they can convince the 32-year-old to change his mind over the next fortnight, but they will not keep anyone against their wishes, so long as a club can meet his release clause.

It must be kept in mind that an offer of 180 million euros was on the horizon, but it has not yet been made, while Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are two possible landing spots, a deal which could cost them 400 million euros between the transfer fee and salary.

Despite these issues keeping his mind busy, his team officials and teammates believe he will take the Portuguese team to the success. Portugal defender Bruno Alves says, “Obviously there are no words to describe what Cristiano means to our country, with everything that he has achieved…He is an idol even for the players, and we hope that he can help Portugal with some of his goals and victories.”

There is no denying that the world’s number one football player’s recent performances have left him in a strong position to catch up with Lionel Messi with a fifth world player of the year award. He would almost certainly secure the prize if he can help Portugal win the Confederations Cup, the main warm-up event for next year’s World Cup. Ronaldo has 11 goals in five games with the national team this season, including two in Portugal’s 3-0 win at Latvia in European World Cup qualifying last week, the team’s last match before the Confederations Cup.

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Confederations Cup 2017 full schedule

June 17-July 2 in Russia

Participating teams, by group, with current world ranking:

Group A

No. 17 Mexico
No. 95 New Zealand
No. 8 Portugal
No. 63 Russia

Group B

No. 48 Australia
No. 32 Cameroon
No. 4 Chile
No. 3 German

Schedule

(All times Pacific)

Saturday, June 17

Russia vs. New Zealand

8 a.m., FS1, Telemundo

Krestovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia

Sunday, June 18

Portugal vs. Mexico

8 a.m., FS1, Telemundo

Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia

Monday, June 19

Australia vs. Germany

8 a.m., FS1, Telemundo

Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia

Wednesday, June 21

Russia vs. Portugal

8 a.m., FS1, Telemundo

Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow, Russia

Mexico vs. New Zealand

11 a.m., FS1, Telemundo

Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia

Thursday, June 22

Cameroon vs. Australia

8 a.m., FS1, Telemundo

Krestovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia

Germany vs. Chile

11 a.m., FS1, Telemundo

Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia

Saturday, June 24

Mexico vs. Russia

8 a.m., Fox, Telemundo

Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia

New Zealand vs. Portugal

8 a.m., FS1, NBCU

Krestovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg

Sunday, June 25

Germany vs. Cameroon

8 a.m., Fox, NBCU

Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia

Chile vs. Australia

8 a.m., FS1, Telemundo

Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow, Russia

SEMIFINALS

Wednesday, June 28

Winner Group A vs. Runner-up Group B

Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia

11 a.m. FS1, Telemundo

Thursday, June 29

Winner Group B vs. Runner-up Group A

Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia

11 a.m. FS2, Telemundo

THIRD-PLACE GAME

Sunday, July 2

Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow, Russia

5 a.m., FS1, Telemundo

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Sunday, July 2

Krestovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia

11 a.m., FS1, Telemundo

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